Archaeology and chronology

Submitted by Sammy Smith (sammy@thesga.org)

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One common definition of what archaeologists do is that they study past ways of life.

One important issue that arises for archaeologists is chronology.

Chronology is the order or sequence of events—in short, what came before and what came after.

Thus, archaeology is far more than objects. In fact, archaeologists piece together stories—true stories. Stories always have timelines. This is why chronology is important to archaeologists.

Archaeologists combine an understanding of objects with an understanding of how they were, or may have been, used.

Archaeology is not about sensational treasure. Archaeology is about comprehension and understanding.

Read more…

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Read more about these issues in the May 2001 Early Georgia “Resources at Risk: Defending Georgia’s Hidden Heritage,” a primer on Georgia archaeology downloadable by clicking here. Read more about this special issue on this website here. The goals of the issue were:

1) to expand public perception of what archaeology is and what archaeologists do;

2) to call attention to the urgent need for the preservation and stewardship of archaeological resources, or at least the recovery of basic information before it is destroyed; and,

3) to spur discussion of new ways that Georgians can accumulate more archaeological knowledge and save more resources, and disseminate this new information to the public.

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You can also read more on this topic in this essay on the Society for American Archaeology website. The Society for American Archaeology is a national organization with over 7000 members.

Take a look at “Resources at Risk” and/or the SAA webpage then login and make a comment below.